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Global Smartphone Shipments Decline for Fourth Consecutive Quarter, Samsung Still Leads With Slumping Shipments: IDC

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Global Smartphone Shipments Decline for Fourth Consecutive Quarter, Samsung Still Leads With Slumping Shipments: IDC

Global smartphone shipments were at 355.2 million units, a decline of 6 percent

  • Global smartphone shipments saw 6 percent year-on-year decline
  • Samsung’s shipments fell 13.4 percent
  • Huawei was the biggest gainer and retained number two spot

Industry tracker IDC has published findings from its Q3 2018 report of the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. According to these findings, global smartphone shipments declined yet again in the third quarter this year and were at 355.2 million units, resulting in a year-on-year decline of 6 percent. This made it the fourth consecutive quarter of slumping smartphone shipments across the globe. Samsung remained the largest smartphone vendor this quarter too, but saw a 13.4 percent year-on-year decline in shipments. Chinese phone maker Huawei saw the second consecutive quarter where it retained its number two spot.

The two major reasons for declining smartphone shipments were observed to be Samsung's declining shipments and China's declining demand for smartphones for the sixth consecutive quarter, as per the findings published by IDC on Thursday. The analyst firm, however, maintains its view that the market will return to positive growth. It did not comment on the level of growth expected.

Starting off with Samsung, the South Korean phone manufacturer had a challenging quarter with 72.2 million units, causing a decline of 13.4 percent year-on-year. It had a market share of 20.3 percent. This was partly due to pressure from Huawei emerging as the number two vendor. The company also faced stiff competition in emerging markets of India and Indonesia, where Chinese players like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are rapidly gaining ground.

Chinese Smartphone Makers Hit Record Shipments in a Quarter: Counterpoint

China's domestic smartphone market represents about one third of all smartphones sold globally, and has been declining ever since Q2 2017. IDC notes that China's phone shipments were down 11 percent in the first half of 2018 and continued to decline in Q3. IDC expects this decline to flatten out in 2019.

On a company-to-company basis, Huawei in second place recorded a 14.6 percent market share shipping 52 million smartphones in Q3 globally. This growth has been contributed to its P series, Mate series, and Honor brand. Apple came third with a 0.5 percent growth taking its shipments to 46.9 million units in this quarter, however iPhone XR shipments have not been added to the mix yet - it had a market share of 13.2 percent. We can expect Q4 to be stronger for Apple with shipments of the “affordable” iPhone model.

Next, Xiaomi ranked fourth with a company high of 9.7 percent market share in Q3 2018, with 34.3 million shipments. Gains in strong markets like India and Indonesia, and headway into European markets, combined with the success of its Redmi series led Xiaomi's growth. Lastly, Chinese phone maker Oppo was also on the list with 29.9 million shipments, a 2.1 percent decline in shipments from Q3 2017, giving it a market share of 8.4 percent. While Huawei, Xiaomi, and Apple gained this last quarter, Samsung, Oppo, and other smartphone brands saw a decline in smartphone shipments in the same time period.


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Further reading: IDC, Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Apple, Xiaomi, China
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